My favorite memories as a child involve Toronto trips to feast on dim sum with my Chinese relatives. I grew up in a small, non-diverse town in New York state and was always in awe of seeing so many Chinese people in one place! At dim sum restaurants, we shared the common goal of waiting and wading through the crowd to enjoy delicious, bite-sized Chinese dishes. Through the hustle and bustle, you have to keep an eye out for your favorite dumplings as the creaky carts roll by! It’s an experience that my children rarely get since we live several hours away from the nearest authentic Chinese restaurant. Also, my son also has multiple severe food allergies, one of which is sesame, a ubiquitous ingredient in Chinese food. In attempt to provide a taste of Chinese culture to my son and daughter, I bought these beautiful, Chinese play food toys from Heart Felt Makan.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship with Heart Felt Makan. All opinions are solely based on my family’s experience. I have purchased each of these products.
Chinese play food- a great cultural gift for kids!
Last winter, I bought these Chinese food toys as their Christmas gift! We love this Chinese play food set and highly recommend it as a cultural gift for birthdays and holidays!
Teach Kids Chinese with Chinese play food
Pretend play with Chinese play food is a great opportunity to teach Chinese language. Kids can use their imagination as if they were at a Chinese restaurant! Talk about the dim sum ingredients in Chinese, review kitchen related words, and imagine the smells and the taste while discussing related vocabulary. Have fun Chinese conversation through dramatic play!
Review of HeartFelt Makan’s pretend Chinese play food
Each Chinese food toy from Heart Felt Makan is handmade with high-quality felt fabric and polyester filler. I’m relieved that there is no plastic since excess plastic consumption is harmful to the environment. The details are realistic and absolutely beautiful! As you’ll see in the photos, each toy food resembles the real deal. The dim sum sets all come with a bamboo steamer base, but each lid is sold separately.
Get ready for a close-up look!
A peek inside the bamboo steamers….
Close-up of the 虾饺 (xiā jiǎo / crystal shrimp dumpling) in the bamboo steamer. 虾饺 is my favorite dim sum food! Can you see the hint of the pink prawn peeking through the pearly white wrapper?
The 小笼包 (Xiǎo lóng bāo / Soup dumpling) makes me nostalgic for my late father. He grew up in Shanghai, where 小笼包 dumplings originate from. Like the other dim sum sets, 3 pieces are included. However, at the time of this picture, I was not sure where my kids put the 3rd dumpling!
烧卖 (Shāomai / Shumai) is my husband’s favorite dim sum dish. The ingredients normally include steamed pork and prawn dumpling. This set is garnished with orange roe for a pop of color!
Last but not least are the delicious sticky rice with lotus leaf, which has various Chinese names such as 糯米雞 (nuòmǐ jī) and 粽子 (zòngzi). Sticky rice dumplings are widely enjoyed during 端午节 (Duānwǔ jié / Dragon Boat Festival/Dumpling Festival). Click here for more Dragon Boat resources for kids.
Where to buy Chinese play food?
Heart Felt Makan is a online shop based in Singapore. They have a wide selection of realistic pretend play food in their online shop, many of which reflect the Asian cultural heritage. All items are made-to-order and international shipping is available! Click here to learn more about Heart Felt Makan and browse their online store!
Role-playing with books
While reading books about Chinese culture, such as Chinese New Year, the felt play food can become a wonderfully interactive learning tool while discussing the story! You can find books about Chinese New Year in this post!
Here are some other educational toys that we enjoy:
- 磁性拼字拼图 Chinese Characters Magnetic Spelling Puzzle
- Montessori-friendly Educational Toys and Homeschool Materials on Etsy
To see more fun ways to learn Chinese, check out our activities organized by topic!
For tips on how to teach kids Chinese, please explore these informative articles!
Bilingual English and Chinese Facebook Group
As always, please leave a comment with any questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them! Or better yet, please join our Facebook group! Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese and English is a community of parents worldwide who are excited to share bilingual book recommendations, Montessori tips, and learning materials!
Happy playful learning, friends!